Paul Speer — Ax Inferno
(Rainstorm Records RS1237-CD, 2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-08-14Paul Speer is a guitarist and producer originally hailing from the Pacific Northwest, probably best known for the two hit instrumental albums he produced with keyboardist David Lanz in the mid-1980s, Natural States and Desert Vision, and more recently collaborations with Queensryche drummer Scott Rockenfield. His latest all-instrumental release Ax Inferno explores cyclical multi-layered electric guitar visions in a somewhat electronic setting, not at all unlike the work on his 1984 solo LP Collection 983: Spectral Voyages, though the technology available today is far beyond what was at hand thirty years ago. For the most part this is a solo effort with Speer overdubbing all the guitars, bass, synthesizers, and a generous helping of studio effects, setting up self-sustaining patterns, loops and textures, with drummer Ron Krasinski sitting in on four of the seven main tracks. There is a definite groove at work throughout all of these cuts, propelling the sound forward while layers of spacy guitar riffage are superimposed one over another. “Megatron” closes the main part of the album with a very impressive exhibition of tasty guitar pyrotechnics in a somewhat psychedelic electronic setting. The final two cuts are ‘techno mixes’ of the two opening tracks “Contents Under Pressure” and “Accelerator,” both respectful of the rock mix versions and not overdosed with a lot of techno-chatter. While Ax Inferno straddles the fence between electronics and rock, it’s a solid effort that deserves to be heard.
Related artist(s): Paul Speer
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more